1

turtle

play
noun tur·tle \ˈtər-təl\

Definition of turtle

archaic

  1. :  turtledove

Origin and Etymology of turtle

Middle English, from Old English turtla, from Latin turtur


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

turtle

noun, often attributive tur·tle

Definition of turtle

plural

turtles

also

turtle

  1. :  any of an order (Testudines synonym Chelonia) of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine reptiles that have a toothless horny beak and a shell of bony dermal plates usually covered with horny shields enclosing the trunk and into which the head, limbs, and tail usually may be withdrawn

Origin and Etymology of turtle

modification of French tortue, from Late Latin (bestia) tartarucha, feminine of tartaruchus of Tartarus, from Greek tartarouchos, from Tartaros Tartarus; from Mithraic and early Christian association of the turtle with infernal forces


First Known Use: 1612


3

turtle

noun tur·tle

Definition of turtle

1952

First Known Use of turtle

1952


TURTLE Defined for Kids

turtle

play
noun tur·tle \ˈtər-təl\

Definition of turtle for Students

  1. :  a reptile that lives on land, in water, or both and has a toothless horny beak and a shell of bony plates which covers the body and into which the head, legs, and tail can usually be drawn


Medical Dictionary

turtle

play
noun , often attributive tur·tle \ˈtərt-əl\

Medical Definition of turtle

plural

turtles

also

turtle

  1. :  any of an order (Testudines) of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine reptiles that have a toothless horny beak and a shell of bony dermal plates usually covered with horny shields enclosing the trunk and into which the head, limbs, and tail usually may be withdrawn—called also chelonian



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up turtle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

clothing or garments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • fox-in-front-of-cabin-in-winter
  • The month of December comes from a Latin word that referred to which month of the year?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ